If you like the simple brush raft that I taught you about, you will probably enjoy making one more waterproof, with less debris.
The Australian Poncho Raft is more waterproof than the Brush Raft and doesn’t require a gathering of brush. It does require you to have some equipment to make it and will only float 70 pounds of gear.
If you have two ponchos, two rucksacks, two 4-ft poles or branches, and some rope, vines, or bootlaces then follow my simple steps to make the Austrailian Poncho Raft:
Do this on the inner side so it is not showing and tie the drawstrings tightly, so there is very little chance of water getting through.
Place one on the ground, inner side up and place the two poles, centered in the poncho about 18 inches apart.
Place your packs and any other equipment you want dry between the poles. Snap the poncho sides together.
Hold the snapped section of the poncho up. With the poncho in the air, tightly roll down on the section (like you would a paper sack, or lunch bag) the full width of the poncho.
Now twist the ends of the roll like you see a tootsie-roll or gum wrapper (pigtails) and then fold them over. Tie them securely in place with rope.
Now place the second down like you did the first. Need better buoyancy? Just add brush in this poncho.
Add the bundle you made, tied side down, into the center of the second poncho. Follow the same procedure for the second poncho that you did for rolling the first one
Tie rope 12 inches in from the pigtails you have created on the second poncho and secure gear and if you have extra rope and water bottle, tie it to the raft to help with towing it.
This may not be the best raft for weight carrying, but it is extremely useful for keeping most of your stuff dry.
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